Erick, Flossie get closer to Hawaii with threats of high surf

Hurricane Erick and Tropical Storm Flossie churned closer to Hawaii on Thursday as forecasters warned of high surf and flooding threats.

Erick is a Category 1 hurricane with sustained winds of 85 mph, and is expected to weaken into a tropical storm over the next 24 hours. It’s expected to make its closest pass of the state late Thursday.

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“Swells generated by Erick will arrive in the Hawaiian Islands tonight through Thursday night, potentially producing dangerous surf conditions, mainly along east facing shores,” the Central Pacific Hurricane Center said.

A high surf warning has been issued for the eastern coast of the Big Island. Surf of 15-20 feet is expected through Thursday, CNN meteorologist Haley Brink said.

Flash flood watches have also been issued for the Big Island as the storm passes to the south — with the biggest threat of flash flooding along the eastern southward facing slopes of the Big Island.

Flossie remains a tropical storm with sustained winds of 65 mph and little change in strength is forecast over the next 36 hours, Brink said.

The storm is expected to remain a tropical storm over the next few days, and could bring tropical-storm conditions to Hawaii early next week.